Apple’s CarPlay only needed to have one third-party app on board when it launched to make us happy: Spotify. Imagine, then, how pleased we were to discover that Spotify was indeed the one and only third-party app supported by CarPlay when the system made its debut in Pioneer’s aftermarket in-dash receivers earlier this month. Now imagine how disappointed we were when we tried it out and learned that Spotify was almost completely non-functional in CarPlay. Now after 20 days of not working with CarPlay, Spotify finally updated its app, and it still doesn’t work. Imagine that.
Adding insult to injury is the fact that, in the update’s release notes today, Spotify advertises the CarPlay compatibility as “new,” stating that Spotify “now supports Apple CarPlay,” as if it didn’t state the exact same thing with the update it issued on October 1. It’s hard not to see this as a “whoops-we-screwed-up-maybe-nobody-noticed-how-about-a-do-over?” maneuver. But even if we assume this was the intended mainstream release of the CarPlay-compatible version of the app, it’s just as bad, because those who own a CarPlay-capable in-dash receiver are bound to be disappointed at least once; possibly twice.
We tested out the new version of the app this morning and endured the same problems we’ve endured before. As seen in our CarPlay review video below, Spotify has a tendency to give you a blank screen when you load it up in CarPlay, get hung up while navigating different menus, or just crash entirely. You can see our iPhone’s screen moving along with the selections we make on our in-dash receiver’s screen, much as it does with other apps. Unfortunately, once we get to loading up playlists, the screen often goes blank. When we try to play a song, it’s anyone’s guess whether or not the song will play.
Digital Trends has reached out to Spotify for comment, but as of publishing this article has not heard back. We will update this post once any new information has been attained. Until then, spare yourself the frustration of hoping Spotify will work with your CarPlay-enabled entertainment system by avoiding it entirely, and just sit tight hoping the next version of Spotify will iron out all the bugs.